Viola-Leaved Blue Sow-Thistle
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Viola-Leaved Blue Sow-Thistle
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Viola-Leaved Blue Sow-Thistle
Botanical name: Melanoseris violifolia    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Cicerbita violifolia, Prenanthes violifolia, Lactuca violifolia

Viola-Leaved Blue Sow-Thistle is a very slender perennial herb, up to a foot tall, with leaves predominantly like those of Violets, broad, ovate-heart-shaped, and violet-blue sow-thistle-like flowers. However, leaves can also be triangular or somewhat arrow-shaped. Tip and ears are blunt or pointed. Leaves are mostly entire or obscurely wavy-toothed, glaucous beneath, 1-2 inches long and broad. Leaf-stalks are long, lower 3-8 inches, simple or winged or dilated at base. Violet-blue flower-heads are borne in 5-8-flowered, long-stalked, pendulous racemes. Involucral bracts are about 1.2 cm long, outer very small, inner linear blunt. Seed-pods are about 4 mm, contracted at both ends, but not beaked. Viola-Leaved Blue Sow-Thistle is found in Western Himalayas, from Kashmir to Kumaon, at altitudes of 2700-3600 m.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal, J.M. Garg Photographed in Kinnaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh & Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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